Falcons: 4 reasons to be excited for the 2021 season


Even though Atlanta sports fans seem to have something to complain about every weekend now, which is all warranted, there are bright spots in the city’s professional teams. The Hawks have the best young core in the NBA as Trae Young, De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, and others have yet to hit their prime years. The Braves have an incredible core of young players that will keep the club competitive for the next five years at least. The Falcons aren’t quite there yet, but they have taken a step in the right direction by hiring a totally new regime, led by Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith. It might be a couple of years before they are back in the Super Bowl, but there are still a few reasons to be excited for the 2021 season.

4. Two words: Kyle Pitts

The hype surrounding Kyle Pitts is palpable as one of the most notable non-quarterback prospects since Julio Jones entered the draft a decade ago. There is a sense around Atlanta that the organization could’ve stumbled upon a seamless transition from one of the greatest players in franchise history in Julio. Pitts is a unicorn who can do everything at an extremely high level when attacking a defense. His wingspan is record-breaking, and his speed-to-size combination should make every Falcons fan salivate at the thought of Arthur Smith building an offense around the fourth-overall pick.

3. An exciting defensive philosophy

The Falcons’ defensive talent is as poor as it was last year, so fans should expect similar results, right? Wrong, enter Dean Pees. Though Atlanta’s personnel is subpar, the team’s new defensive coordinator is famous for his complex disguising of blitzes and coverages, which will help cover up for individual deficiencies. He knows he’s got his work cut out for him, but Pees is outspoken about fitting his scheme to his players’ strengths, so it is likely for this group to overachieve in the first year under a new defensive coordinator.

2. Offensive-minded head coach

Mike Smith and Dan Quinn weren’t failures as head coaches in Atlanta. The Falcons had multiple successful seasons ending in the playoffs under each man, but the league has been trending toward catering to offenses for a decade. The Falcons’ incredible 2016 season was spearheaded by Kyle Shanahan’s innovative play-calling and designing, but once he left for San Francisco, the offense failed to capture the same magic. With Arthur Smith, the Falcons won’t have the same problem.

1. New beginnings

This chapter of the Falcons is just beginning. It will be tough for the Falcons to underachieve in 2021 because the team has a rookie head coach and finished the season before with just four wins. With Matt Ryan under center, Smith’s offense will propel the Falcons to a better record by itself. Combine that with a new defensive scheme, and this team is guaranteed to improve from last year.

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